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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 9, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EST

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air? caller: was on the show last month. just remind people on your show calling in that mr. obama was elected twice to bring the troops home. host: randy in missouri. democratic caller. you might want to make it quick because the house is about to come into session. caller: what i want to talk -- theyou'll issue was whole issue was pushing about obama lacked conviction about afghanistan warbled on the lady called in and told you that in he writesn his book with he agrees with them. host: we found that part and read it for you. we have to leave it there. the house is now in session. live coverage here on speed -- c-span. washington, d.c., january 9, 2014. i hereby appoint the honorable luke messer to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner,
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speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 7, 2014, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour ebate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip , but in o five minutes no -- but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. royce, for five minutes. very ce: well thank you much, mr. speaker. and this saturday, on january 11, people throughout our country here, people throughout the world will be observing human trafficking awareness day. the start of this new year, i think, is a fitting time to focus on the shameful fact that human slavery is not a relic of
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ancient history, that in fact it's with us today, it's a brulal reality, a reality faced by more than 20 million victims around the world -- it's a brutal reality, a reality faced by more than 20 million victims around the world. r underaged girls, for young women, this is a case where they're exploited in this trafficking as well. even in my work as chairman of the foreign affairs committee, i've learned that human trafficking is no longer just a problem over there. it is a problem in our communities here. it is a problem in developing economies, but also it's a problem in the united states and in europe. it's a scourge even in the communities that we serve here and that we represent. in my own community in the last two years, the orange county human trafficking task force has assisted over 200 victims,
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93% were women, most of them underaged, 80 of them from foreign countries. in our november field hearing in fullerton, the orange county district attorney testified shockingly -- and we're speaking now about trafficking, sexual trafficking -- shockingly, the average age of a child being trafficked in this country is 12. is 12 years of age. a little girl who has not even reached her teens. we also heard from one brave survivor, angela, who was trafficked from the philippines into forced labor in long beach, california. i've heard many other stories from the members of the human trafficking congressional advisory committee that i established last year in my los angeles county district office. e forum for communicating on trafficking between law
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enforcement, advocates, service organizations and survivors has contributed profoundly to my own knowledge, my own understanding of this issue, and i encourage my colleagues to get to know those on the front lines of the fight against human trafficking, get to know them in their districts and know of their work and you're going to be informed, challenged and inspired by what you learn. this january, designated as national slavery and human trafficking prevention month, is a perfect time to shine a spotlight on the dark issue of trafficking, but awareness is only a first step. more needs to be done, and to that end, i would urge my colleagues to join me in co-sponsoring h.r. 3344, the fraudulent overseas recruitment and trafficking elimination act, to combat one critical form of recurring abuse, and namely that is unscrupulous
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recruiters by targeting the recruiters, we can do a lot. these recruiters who bait foreigners to travel to the united states with promises of good jobs but trap them in sexual exploitation or forced labor once they arrive. for example, in my home county, the salvation army's network of emergency trafficking services reports that a full 1/3 of their clients, 33% of their clients were recruited in a foreign country by a labor recruiter. they got here and found it was a very different job than the one they enlisted for. this represents not only an assault on the dignity of the victim but also a subversion of united states labor laws and our nonimmigrant visa system. and in response, this legislation requires that perspective foreign workers be given accurate information about the terms of employment and be given anti-trafficking protections against u.s. laws. it prohibits recruitment fees
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or hidden charges used as coercive leverage against workers. in other words, once you get here to the united states, you can't find out afterwards because they didn't disclose to you that there are fees that you oh, those fees are no longer allowed. upfront, the employer pays those fees. requires them to register and remain in good standard with the department of labor and it provides new mechanisms to ensure that employers and recruiters follow this disclosure and requirements. members may contact the foreign affairs committee to join this important anti-traffic initiative. i encourage you all to sign onto my legislation. and as people of good will around the world observe human trafficking awareness day this weekend, let us move beyond mere awareness, let us abolish this injustice and protect and restore the dignity of those who have survived such exploitation. thank you, mr. speaker.
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the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. lumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. our interim agreement with iran will deal with interrelated conflicts throughout the middle east. there is no reason for congress to complicate by further enhancing sanctions now that are already working. we have this six-month to a year window to fashion a longer term agreement. the fact that we are even talking with iran is the most encouraging signal that we've seen in 34 years. let's use this diplomatic window. there are hardliners in both countries highly suspicious, very negative who would like to blow this agreement up. unless we're willing to invade and occupy iran, even repeated bombing will delay the iranian three, effort at best
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four years, maybe less. americans have spent $1 trillion, lost 4,000 american lives with tens of thousands of wounded in more than a decade in iraq. and it's still falling apart. iran is bigger, stronger and more sophisticated. i don't think you can sell that war to the american people. congress should calm down and give diplomacy a chance. let's learn about this important country, its 4,000-year history and the past mistakes with iran and most important our common interests. the middle east has long been a simmering calderon with the conflicts suppressed by a lid of repression held down by empire and colonial powers. that started to change a century ago with the collapse of the ottoman empire and colonial powers trying from afar to influence human behavior by drawing lines on
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map from european capitals irrespective of religion, tribal and ethnic realities. it set in motion a series of forces that are playing out today with tragic consequences. iran, as the dominant shiia force in the renal, could play a huge role where we share common interests in syria, iraq and afghanistan, for instance. the current situation is the result of partnerships between congress and the obama administration that got us to this point where iran is willing to negotiate. strong effective sanctions would never have worked without careful, artful diplomacy that involved other countries like india to help us squeeze iran. it has worked. let's claim credit and move on to the next steps. we could start by trying to learn about each other. let's promote an exchange
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between iran and the united states with students, religious leaders, maybe even parliamentary members and members of congress. let's focus on our shared interests, like afghanistan, where we had earlier cooperation with iran to help overthrow the taliban. let's work to make progress with the agreement and beyond. and the congress can do this, most importantly, by leaving it alone. congress shouldn't meddle, congress shouldn't muddle, congress shouldn't give iranian hardliners an excuse to scuttle it. we have an opportunity to improve the most volatile region in the world and congress shouldn't blow that opportunity. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, for five minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the
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speaker for giving me recognition this morning. 48 hours, million-plus americans received letters in their mailboxes. they weren't overdue tax letters. they were not letters suggesting that you are at fault, was not a notice to say that you're no longer an american citizen and it was not a letter to say you are now relieved of any responsibility to pay any bills or to provide for your family. was a letter denying or extinguishing, taking away the unemployment insurance that most americans have come to working that as
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americans having worked in their life that they would be the recipient of these benefits during a brief lapse or an extended lapse of not being able to find work. the chronically unemployed percentage is the highest it's been in decades, and therefore, this is not the time to delay. hold in my hand as well the esume of a competent worker, college graduate, has the responsibility to support his family and who has been looking for work for two years earnestly, energetically, intently and intensely and cannot find work. the clock is ticking on the 30 hours in the united states senate, but the real concern is
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y friends in this body recognizing that these letters deal with people's lives and to make a representation that all is well, unemployment generally is 7%. however, it was lower than that when president bush signed the unemployment insurance benefits , these and these guys distinguished americans, misfits, why can't they find work? 20,000-plus are veterans looking for work. men and women who served in the united states military, or, as we met in the white house on tuesday, a mother of two distinguished men who are serving in afghanistan. so the 1.3 million languish
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while we are trying to make a determination that may not be able to be made. frankly, i would ask that we all be reasonable. i would simply make the point that it is an emergency. i want to pause for a moment and thank the houston apartment association that's worked with me and has sent a letter to all of their members asking for those 12,000, some of whom are residents of apartments in harris county, to be sensitive and tolerant of those individuals who can document that they were the beneficiaries of or the recipients of unemployment insurance that was cut off on december 28. and i want to applaud them for their sensitivity in dealing with those particular individuals. i asked mortgage companies and
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utility companies and city water bills companies to be tolerant as well, to be working with families who are basically without a lifeline. but the issue before us is the fact that these letters have gone to people as this lady, who has worked every day. liked her job, laid off through no fault of her own, but right now we have an opportunity to pass an emergency relief. some of us have introduced bills for one year, but a three-month emergency relief and then contemplate, discuss and work with what might be the appropriate way of funding the continuation. . know person unemployed chronically or not is happy with an unemployment benefit check. what they are happy with, mr. speaker, is the ability to work and to provide for their families. so i'd make the argument that as
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we discuss privacy issues on the affordable care act which are already taken care of by c.m.s., today the floor, and tomorrow we should be passing unemployment insurance. i ask my colleagues to join me on both sides of the aisle, recognizing that americans want to work. let's help them transition with a bridge of an unemployment insurance. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. last november the u.s. ambassador to the united nations, samantha power, came to meet with my colleague and me who serve on the foreign affairs committee, and in that meeting ambassador power told us that despite u.s. law that prohibits any funding to unesco, because of its decision to admit a nonexistent state of palestine to its membership, the administration was going to make it a priority to seek waiver
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authority to continue u.s. taxpayer funding to unesco. and now, indeed, this is coming to fruition. there is a congressional push by some to grant the administration this waiver or to seek other ways to get around this prohibition. m here today to voice my unconditional and unyielding opposition to push and urge my colleagues to join me to remove that from the budget that will be before us soon. to yet again circumvent u.s. law and throw away hundreds of millions of dollars of the u.s. taxpayer money. the administration is seeking to not only restore $80 million in taxpayer funds to unesco for this fiscal year, but it is also seeking to pay nearly $250 million more in arrears, dues that we owed to unesco. an agency that has an anti-u.s. and anti-israel agenda.
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if we restore funding to unesco, we are tactically agreeing with their support for abbas, the p.a., p.l.o., nonexistent state of palestine, and u.n. scheme to undermine the peace process by granting de facto recognition to a palestinian state without it first coming to an agreement with israel to resolve this long conflict. a vote to restore any u.s. funding to unesco or to give the administration any waiver authority to circumvent the existing law that prohibits, again prohibits u.s. funding to unesco, would not only undermine our credibility and set a dangerous precedent, but it would further embolden an already intransigent palestinian authority. why do i say intransigent? because even as we sit here, mr. speaker, reports indicate that a major holdup in the peace negotiations between secretary kerry, israel, and the
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palestinian authority is the refusal by abbas and the p.a. to recognize israel as the jewish state of israel. is that the kind of member that we want to be associated with in unesco? one that doesn't even recognize the identity of another state, and not just another state, our closest ally. i know that unesco is riddled with rogue regimes amongst its ranks, including the likes of cuba where the callous, brutal murderous castro regime has been repressing the rights of 11 million cubans for over half a century. and syria, where the tyrant assad has caused the deaths of over 130,000 people and brought the middle east to the very brink. but if we restore u.s. funding to unesco, we are essentially saying that, hey, it's ok. by the way, why not add one more in abbas? there has been a recent spate of terrorist activity against israel, and rather than act like a true leader should who seeks
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peace and a partner in a negotiated peace settlement, abbas was deafeningly silent when it came to denounce these acts of terror. but the powers at unesco don't seem to mind this at all. not us, mr. speaker, we are better than that. we are not about to trade in our credibility and our principles as a country for this platitude and for this circumvention. we know that if we concede to unesco, if we restore any funding, we would be making a grave mistake and also wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of our constituent dollars on this anti-u.s. agenda. i will continue to fight this push to restore funding to unesco in any way, and i will continue to rally my colleagues to join me in this fight. thank you very much for the time, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. miller, for five minutes. mr. miller: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. miller: mr. speaker, study after study has shown us that investment in quality early education leads to better educational outcomes, stronger job earnings, and lower crime rates. decades of research confirm that quality preschool helps prevent achievement gaps for low-income children with long-term benefits for our nation. but we don't need research to confirm the importance of quality early childhood education. ask any parent in america if it matters to them. the problem is that not enough children have access to it. that's why i have introduced the bipartisan bill, the strong start for america's children act. when congressman hannah, senator harkin and i introduced the bill in november we were joined by the sheriff of minneapolis, a top private sector c.e.o., retired air force general, a parent, and secretary of education arnie duncan. -- arne duncan. they understand the need for greater investment in high quality preschool.
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my legislation proposes an innovative federal state partnership to increase resources to local school districts and community-based programs that provide quality pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds. it allows funding for educating 3-year-olds and allows states to spend money on good quality, infant and toddler care. it improves childcare quality for infants through early head start. millions of children from low-income families lack access to high quality preschool programs and childcare services. they are on waiting lists because of limited public funding. this deepens the achievement gaps and impedes the nation's economic and work force successes. for example, early head start has shown to be an effective high quality program, yet the sad truth is that only 3% of the eligible children have access to it. additionally, one in six low-income families are eligible for federal childcare services
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has access. mr. speaker, this is not a democratic issue or republican issue. babies and toddlers and preschoolers don't know the political parties exist. in fact, we are seeing a republican and democratic governor from all regions of the country pushing for more funding in this early learning in their states. they want to be partners with the federal government. state legislators from both parties, wide range of states, have led efforts to support quality preschool. just recently rereceived a letter signed by more than 500 state legislators from both parties in support of this issue. i'm also very proud of our partnership with the fellow republican members of the house. we all know the policy makes sense for america's future. we know that what is possible in our communities and in our nation if kids are give a fair shot at success. the public understands and believes in early childhood education. the bipartisan poll released in july found an overwhelming majority of americans support
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quality early childhood education and rate it a national priority, second only to increasing jobs and economic growth. seven in 10 americans support the federal plan to help states and local communities provide better early childhood education. members of congress and other policymakers are also getting onboard. the bipartisan budget agreement reached last month includes a reserve fund for early childhood education, childcare, and voluntary home visitation. that's another tsh-that's yet another acknowledgement by another bipartisan group of members in this case budget leaders that early childhood education should be a top priority for the federal government. that acknowledgement is clearly a step forward, but it isn't enough. our next step is the enactment of the strong start act. when fiscal year 2014 spending deadlines less than a week away, i understand the appropriators of both houses are considering the increased funding for preschool as outlined in our bipartisan bill.
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i hartley encourage that course. despite the language used whenever we are in congress to talk about butts, funding early childhood education isn't spending, it's an investment and one that's critical for our nation's long-term economic strength. from a better educated work force to reduced need for social service, study after study has documented the enormous return of investment on early childhood education. we a can save between $7 and $12 for everyle toar invested. these are real savings resulting in less reputation, lower special educational replacement, lower dropout rates, less spending on welfare and social services, more tax revenue, and lower incarceration rates. a sheriff said when he launched the strong start for america's children's act, i'm the guy you pay later. let's stop spending on the back end what we should be investing in the beginning in the child's life. for all of these reasons our bill has the support of more than 60 national organizations
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representing pediatricians, law enforcement, religious groups, labor unions, business and military leaders, people with disabilities, school principles, civil rights leaders, and literacy advocates. now is the time to empower the next generation and guarantee a better future for our nation. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. rigell, for five minutes. mr. rigell: i thank the speaker. mr. speaker, it's a privilege for me to be here this morning and to share with you an our lesion the story of an exceptional american, ron miller. who i'm proud to say lives in virginia's second congressional district, the kiss trict -- district i have the privilege to serve and represent. he's 46 years old and he always planned to go back to school, but at age 33 his life was rocked. he was diagnosed with lou gehrig's disease, or a.l.s., a devastating neurodegenerative disease that progressively
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affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord and its a disease for which at present there is no cure. he's paralyzed from the nose down, yet he used eye glaze technology to complete his associates degree in liberal arts with honors in a bold and courageous effort to bring attention to a.l.s. the wonderful staff at the lake taylor transitional facility where ron lives and the graduation ceremony took place were there and i saw tears coming down several of the staff members' eyes as they watched ron receive his degree. and actually the president of excelsior college made an effort to fly down to be with us that day. i was deeply honored to be there and have the privilege of sharing the commencement address, but it certainly wasn't my words that inspired everyone who was there, it was ron's words. that he shared through his computer. he didn't talk about himself, he didn't talk about how difficult things are for him. he mainly thanked all of those in his life that had made the degree possible.
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he talked about the importance of education, and the importance of finding a cure for a.l.s. i want to share just a small portion of what he shared that day. i watched his eyes as they guided the cursor on the screen to the play button. when he hit it with his eyes there, it actually started the computer to speak. and he put it this way, said, i ask all of you bear with me as i stumble my way through this. at least i can blame the computer if i mispronounce anything. listen, that got a laugh there. he has a great sense of humor. he said thank you for ensuring i start each class not as a disabled person but differently abled person. he thanked all the nurses and nurses aides there. he said you're my heroes, it takes a lot of work for me to look this good. he's got a great sense of humor and he thanked his family and his friends for their love and support and he put it this way, he said it isn't always easy speaking of life. it never is. i just have a different set of
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challenges than most. he left us with this quote by john wooden, he said, do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. powerful words. to me, mr. speaker, ron's courage and his remarkable achievement represents the very best of the american spirit and the human spirit. it's a strong heart that chooses to be grateful for life's simple blessings. one that values the gift of friendship that embraces the pursuit of knowledge, and the one that does not rest in a relentless pursuit to lessen human suffering. especially for those who will follow. i really count it as a high privilege to know ron and count him as a friend. he's fulfilling his mission to ensure that americans are educated about the challenges that those with a.l.s. face. and he's also shown us what a person with a.l.s. can accomplish. he and many others who are heavily burdened with a.l.s. and their families are calling attention to the need for improved access and we have a wonderful facility in virginia
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beach that is just a tremendous asset for those who are afflicted with a disease that affects their physical mobility and that includes many of our wounded warriors. it's j.t. grommet island on virginia beach, the first on the east coast, that allows people mobility impaired gets down to experience the joy of being on the water, sun, and sand and being outside. and there's a lot more work to be done and i'm so proud of our friends, bruce thompson and others, his son, josh, is afflicted with a.l.s. and he led the effort to build that facility that i mentioned there, j.t. grommet's island. it's named in honor of his son, josh, who is struggling with this, and his family as well. i want to close my comments today with great respect for those who are struggling with this disease and to share with you something that ron has said about his struggle and it's an outlook on life i found profound and inspirational, i posted it in my home where i see it every day. he said this, i may have a.l.s.,
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but a.l.s. does not have me. so, mr. speaker, may ron's remarkable achievement and the spirit that he ex-u exhibits in his life inspire all of us to join him in this worthy fight to find a cure for a.l.s. i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. speier, for five minutes. ms. speier: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm here to speak about unemployment insurance and extension to it to my republican colleagues, but there's no one over here to listen, so maybe they'll listen to some renowned republicans talk about what's really important. how about newt gingrich who recently said, i think every republican should embrace the pope's core critique, that you do not want to live on a planet
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with billionaires and people who do not have any food. or how about john fyhrie, a republican strategist who said, what does the republican party actually believe in? what is its purpose? is it just to have unbridled capitalism without any moral core? mr. speaker, this 50-year war on poverty has faced setbacks under the leadership of both parties, but the g.o.p.-led house seems to be actively engaged in a war on the war on poverty. congress' inaction has cut off 1.3 million people from unemployment insurance after christmas, and unless renewed will cut benefits for another 1.9 million who are you will jibble in 2014. some of -- eligible in 2014. some complain this is just politics, that unemployment insurance was, quote, intended to be a temporary solution to a very temporary crisis.
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well, here's a news flash, we will be in this crisis since 2008. this is not temporary. this is long term and it's chronic and it has been caused by the greed of billionaires of the likes we have seen on wall street. this is a personal nightmare for many of the constituents of my colleagues across the aisle. some of their constituents have written to my office because they think their representative is blind to how they are struggling. now, mag receipt is a renowned -- margaret is a renowned peaker and she talks about mindless blindness and i think that's what we're engaged here. o here are stories impacted in districts of my republican colleagues because maybe they'll think about who is
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being hurt by playing politics. texas resident, linda, shared a story with me on my congressional facebook page. she was 60 years old when her legal secretary job eliminated. this is not someone sitting on a couch at home. 40 years of experience as a legal -- paralegal secretary. she believed unemployment insurance would protect her if she lost her job. even while caring for her 80-year-old mother with breast cancer, linda continued to look for work but got very few interviews. her 91-year-old father fell ill and died but she continued to look for work even while in mourning and caring for her sick mothers. the few interviews linda does get, she's surrounded by people in her 20's and 30's and thinks her age might be keeping her from securing a job. quote, my unemployment ended on december 28. i have no savings, i haven't paid rent yet or electricity or the car payment or the phone
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bill because i don't have enough money to make those payments, she wrote to me. well, linda, i hope your republican congressman reaches out to you immediately to explain to you in his own words why you shouldn't have your unemployment insurance extended after being employed for 40 years in this country. unemployment isn't a temporary problem for daniel of alabama. daniel hit his 26th week of filed unemployment. he lost his job in the auto industry in 2012 while he was on medical leave. the 45-year-old has exhausted all his unemployment benefits and applied for more than 50 jobs with no luck. his wife worries how the family will afford gas for daniel to go job hunting or how the family will pay for necessities not covered by food stamps. in florida, 49-year-old jim lazario can barely pay his bills while he raises his 17-year-old daughter on his
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own. his unemployment insurance will run out in february and he wonders why congress cannot reach a deal on extending federal emergency unemployment insurance. he's been looking for a job every day since early october and is, quote, not sitting back and waiting. i would go back to work immediately if someone offered me a job, unquote. this is more than politics for 70,000 individuals in florida who already lost their unemployment insurance. these are just three stories. there are 1.3 million more that could be shared here today of people who have lost their unemployment insurance on december 28. yesterday was the 50th anniversary of president johnson's announcing a war on poverty. the real question is, why are our colleagues waging a war on the war on poverty? i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from ohio, ms. fudge, for five minutes.
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ms. fudge: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. fudge rur thank you. -- ms. fudge: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise too commemorate the 50th anniversary of president lyndon b. johnson's war on poverty. in 1964, president johnson stood in this chamber and addressed the congress that represented a nation where more than 25% of americans lived in poverty. in his address, president johnson launched an agenda that led to the creation of medicare, medicaid, job corps, head start and nutrition assistance for those who struggled to put food on their table. his war and its resulting programs helped move millions out of poverty. from 1967 to 2012, the poverty rate fell from 26% to 16%, largely because of the strong safety net programs initiated by president johnson's agenda.
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yet, here we are today 50 years later and too many americans are still living on the outskirts of hope because the war on poverty has now become a war on the poor. in the last year alone, congress has agreed to indiscriminate across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, in an effort to balance the budget, and the house passed a farm bill that cut snap by $40 billion. sequestration hurts the very people who need help the most by greatly reducing critical funding to programs like w.i.c. and head start. congress drastically cut one of the more powerful anti-poverty programs, snap, better known as food stamps. that is absurd. when according to the center on budget and policy priorities, snap kept 4.9 million americans out of poverty in 2012 alone,
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including 2.2 million children. congress has also chosen not to extend unemployment insurance. even though our country continues to lift itself out of the recession, many americans still need our support. turn our back on the 1.4 million americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own is unconscionable. in an interview yesterday, i was asked to respond to a quote regarding unemployment insurance by a republican, and this is what he said. he said, we have to introduce the blessing of work to people who have never seen it. and let me just say to be clear, he could not possibly have been talking about unemployment insurance because you have to have worked to even receive it. so he obviously doesn't know what unemployment insurance is. and to my colleague i say that the american people know that they should be blessed with work, but they need meaningful
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work with a living wage. i will continue to be a voice for the poor and will always fight on behalf of the 46 million americans trying to survive in households with inadequate incomes. americans need us to open the gates of opportunity so they can eat properly, get a quality education and find good-paying jobs. so on this 50th anniversary, i am making it clear that the war on poverty might be over but the fight for the poor is not. we must reinforce the plans of president johnson that would ensure all americans can support themselves and their families and have better chances to contribute to our economy and our society. this is the way we build upon the progress we have made over the past five decades, not by taking action to reverse it. to paraphrase dr. king. he says, we have an obligation to those who have been left out
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of the sunlight of opportunity. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. mchenry, for five minutes. mr. mchenry: thank you, mr. speaker. last month was a big one for north carolina football. you probably are well aware of the exploits of cam newton and the carolina panthers, having clinched a playoff berth, but it was actually in my district, the 10th district of western north carolina that really was the epicenter of north carolina football in the month of december. first, there was crest high school in cleveland county representing the boiling springs. crest is a prerenial powerhouse in high school -- perennial powerhouse in high school football. it was under the coach of coach mark barnes. they rode a 14-game winning
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streak on their way to win the north carolina high school thletic association a.a.a. title. it was another impressive season for coach barnes and his great team. all was not lost for cleveland county. as another traditional power, shelby high school, also played for a state championship. the goallines went 12-4 this year capping a season with a victory to win the north carolina 2-a western football championship -- i'm sorry -- state championship. coach lance wear and his team -- lance ware and his team continued the proud tradition as this marked the school's 12th state championship. pretty incredible considering my high school has a hard time just getting one or two. finally, the football success
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in north carolina 10 continued in kataba county where the university's football team enjoyed their best season in football in history. the bears, coached by mike houston, won a school record 13 games on their way to earning a spot in the ncaa division ii championship game in florence, alabama. while they lost the game, the bears team finished the season anked second in the season and hickory as a whole, both the faculty and alumni were very excited. they had a great rally before that game. it actually brought lenoir ryan onto the national stage for some steanings as well. it's a great university. so i want to congratulate rest, shelby and lenoir ryan on their great successes this last football season. now, it's up to cam and luke to
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keep it going for north carolina football and hopefully the panthers will win. go, panthers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis, for five minutes. mr. davis: thank you very much, mr. chairman. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. davis: as our nation marks the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty this week, i rise to urge the republican leadership in the house of representatives to immediately extend unemployment assistance to the long-term unemployed workers who continue to struggle to find jobs as our economy recovers from one of the worst economic crisis in its history. the declaration of the war on poverty was a historic moment in our nation's history when we affirmed our national priority to support those in need. the war on poverty helped reaffirm that our government
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has a responsibility to protect our citizens, especially during times of economic hardship. rovide -- providing this helps a stronger citizenry and stronger country in contrast, the expiration of the emergency unemployment program last month undermines the economic security of our citizens and of our nation. the expiration of the program cut off more than 1.3 million americans from unemployment insurance. with approximately 72,000 additional americans losing benefits each week during the first half of 2014. in my home state of illinois where the unemployment rate emains high, at 9.2%, an estimated 82,000 illinoisans lost benefits on december 28, with 38,000 of those citizens
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living in cook county alone. an additional 89,100, or roughly 3,000 illinoisans a week will exhaust regular benefits without access to emergency benefits in just the first half of 2014. failing to help these citizens is an unacceptable failure of leadership. failure to continue emergency unemployment benefits is not a theoretical issue for millions of americans. it is a daily nightmare. these americans lost their jobs through no fault of their own. they tirelessly try to find work when the jobs are few and far between, and they struggle to cover basic food, housing, and transportation costs for their families on an average of $290 a week. it typically replaces only half of the average family's expenditures. failing to help these citizens is an unacceptable failure.
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failure to continue emergency unemployment benefits poses a realistic threat to our fragile economic recovery. costing over 200,000 much needed jobs and restricting economic growth. the expiration drained over 4d00 million from state economies. in illinois alone, the loss an average of $313 a week benefit leaves a negative impact of $25 million for our citizens. franklin delano roosevelt said that the test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have little. congress must act quickly to support our citizens and our economic recovery by continuing emergency unemployment benefits. the time to do it is now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from indiana, mr. messer, for five minutes.
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thank you, mr. speaker. i am pleased today to rise to honor the life of a great hoosier, one of indiana's finest public servants, representative andy jacobs. i didn't know andy as well as some of my other hoosier colleagues, but i met him several times during his three decades representing indiana in congress. and i certainly knew andy by his stellar reputation. what impressed me most about him on those occasions that we met was the humbleness with which he approached his job. and the respect and civility he showed for his constituents and his colleagues. regardless of their party affiliation or political ideology. andy never took himself too
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seriously. he drove a beat up oldsmobile and dressed like an average guy, which he was. yet his humble -- yet this hum many and decent man was a fierce advocate for civil rights and senior citizens. and built a remarkable record of public service on behalf of his constituents. that's why he was held in such unusually high regard by republicans and democrats alike. andy exemplified all that was right about being a public servant. he could disagree without being disagreeable. he believed you could lift people up without tearing people down. and despite his many years representing his constituents in congress, he refused to become jaded and allow what's wrong with politics to stop him from doing what's right.
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representative andy jacobs never forgot where he came from, and personified what being hoosier is all about. he was a good man and led a great life that left a remarkable legacy. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, for five minutes. thank you, mr. speaker. i salute our colleague for those eloquent remarks. r. speaker, the famed poet alfred tennyson once wrote, hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come. indeed, let's hope that this is the spirit that greets us here in the start of the second session of the 113th congress. having ended last year on a high note with the passage of the bipartisan budget agreement, we should resolve to keep that momentum going in this new year.
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our first order of business should be delivering on the bipartisan accord reached on the holidays. thanks for that agreement we for the first time will replace a portion of the indiscriminate cuts of sequestration with a more balanced approach. that's particularly important in communities like my own in northern virginia which were disproportionately affected because of our strong ties to the federal government. next week's anticipated appropriations package will increase federal investments in research, innovation, and transportation. that in turn will help unleash business investments and create jobs, which have lagged due to the sense of uncertainty fueled by the political bringsmanship here in congress. until those dollars produce results, we need to work together to extend the current safety net, specifically unemployment insurance and nutrition assistance. to make sure we are not leaving our friends and neighbors behind. we have made significant strides pushing down the unemployment rate to 7%. its lowest point in five years.
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we have added more than eight million jobs in the past four years nationwide. but that's still 1.3 million short of the number that were there before the great recession. equally important, 40% of the unemployed are long-term unemployed, two years or more. this structural unemployment has been devastating for those individuals and their families and their respective communities. that's why extending emergency unemployment benefits is so critically important. this is a lifeline that families rely on to keep food on the table. more than 1.3 million americans, including 9,000 in my home state of virginia, and another 39,000 in the speaker's district -- speaker's state in ohio have already lost benefits because of congress' inaction. thousands more will see their benefits cut in the coming months. i remind my friends on the republican side of the aisle that both unemployment insurance
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and nutrition assistance provide an immediate and tangible boost to our local economies, pulling that assistance back now would be devastating in its effects and would undercut the economic momentum we have worked so hard to build these past few months. every dollar in assistance provided to the unemployment generates $1.64 in the local economy. and similar-l every dollar provided under the slell nutrition assistance program has a multiple effect of $1.79. these programs have helped keep generations of families out of poverty, even while income equality is growing worse. a recent report shows that nearly half of the nation's school children now qualify for free and reduced lunches. those children who come from low-income homes account for more than half of all the students in 17 states. mostly in republican districts in the south and west i might add. a decade ago, just four states
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reported a majority of their school children eligible for free and reduced school lunches. while i and many of my colleagues remain hopeful that the house will extend these vital supports, we are disheartened to see that the very first legislative action scheduled by the house majority in this new year is a return to the cynical attack on the affordable care act. ironically just this week the actuaries for medicare and medicaid released a report showing that in the four years since the adoption of the affordable care act for the first time ever national health care expenditures have grown at the slowest rate since the government began collecting that data 50 years ago. the growth for insurance premiums in particular has slowed, more than 60%, which equates to real savings for real workers, real families, and for our government. i want to work with my republican colleagues to ensure proper oversight and accountability for the affordable care act, but let's hang up this tired routine of trying to chip away or outright
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repeal these essential benefits and protections for families. one of our republican colleagues was quoted in the pape they are week saying a lot of the republicans think the big bipartisan deal was the budget agreement last year. working together in bipartisan fashion is not a limited exercise. it's what our citizens expected of us each and every day. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. green, for five minutes. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, and friends, it is no coincidence that president johnson declared a war on poverty within six months after dr. king gave his, i have a dream, speech, on the mall in washington. whether by accident or whether by design, dr. king and president johnson worked in tandem with each other.
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and they had something in common. they were both intelligent in their own right, but intelligence without courage can be intelligence wasted. they both understood the politics of their time, but understanding the politics of your time without courage can be an understanding wasted. it was courage that made the difference in the lives of people for decades after they each did what they had to do. and i thank god that dr. king and president johnson acted in tandem and that they both had courage. the marches on washington had -- marchers on washington had 10 demands. number eight on that list of 10 demands was a demand to race the -- raise the wage to an amount that people could make a living
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off of. $2 an hour. that $2 an hour adjusted for inflation today would be $13.39. more than $13 an hour. mr. speaker and friends, it's time to raise the wage. a u.c. berkeley labor center report in 2013 denoted and showed that families working in the fast food industry ranking minority member subsidized to the tune of about $7 billion. it's time to raise the wage. that same report shows that 63% of all families receiving subsidies had a working member. it's time to raise the wage. , corporations,re
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paying poverty wages are indirectly subsidized with tax dollars when tax dollars provide food stamm -- stamps, snap, medicaid and other assistance to workers. indirect corporate subsidies will diminish and tax dollars will be saved when we raise the wage. do you like trickle-down economics? if so, you ought to want to raise the wage because by raising the wage we can assure that the earned trickle will get down to the worker that's earned it. it's time to raise the wage. do you think people should pull them selves up by their bootstraps? then raise the wage and people will be able to pull them selves up out of poverty with their economic bootstraps.
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can we afford to raise the wage? mr. speaker and friends, yes, we can. on february 13 of 2013, "the washington post" reported that the united states has one of the lowest minimum wages among developed countries. even though we are among the richest countries in the world. one out of every 60 persons is a millionaire. one out of every 11 households is worth $1 million. and according to the afl-cio, c.e.o. pay has gone from $42 for every $1 a worker made in 1982 o $354 for every $1 a worker made in 2012. it's time to raise the wage. according to forbes, the top 25 c.e.o.'s of hedge funds, the top 25 earners of hedge funds earn more than all 500 of the top
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c.e.o.'s in the fortune 500 combined. it's time to raise the wage. in 2007, one c.e.o. made $3 billion. $3 billion is $400 a second. . it would take a minimum wage worker working full time 198,000 years. something bear repeating. it would take a minimum wage worker 198 years to make what that c.e.o. made in one year. it's time to raise the wage. if we can pay c.e.o.'s $400 a second, we can raise the wage. if we can pay corporate c.e.o.'s 354 times what workers are making, we can raise the wage to $13 an hour. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
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chair recognizes the gentleman from indiana, mr. young, for five minutes. mr. oung: thank you, speaker. a fellow hoosier, fellow marine and fellow patriot died on december 28 in his 81st year. i didn't know andrew jacobs jr., a gentleman who for 30 years represented the indianapolis area and the u.s. house of representatives with distinction but i know a decent, honorable public servant and andy jacobs deserves to be remembered, honored, even immolated by those who now serve in this body or bother to keep watching its proceedings. 1932, orn february 24, in indianapolis. after high school jacobs joined the united states marine corps. he was a plucky marine. his country called him to service in the korean war. he responded to the call of duty, fought bravely and was wounded in action.
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when jacobs returned home to indiana, he enrolled in indiana university, graduating in 1955. and three years later he graduated from law school. jacobs had a passion for public service, so after completing his studies in 1958, the marine kept fighting, fighting for a better america. first, as a sheriff's deputy, then as a lawyer, then as a state legislator and then, beginning in 1965 as a member of congress. in congress andy jacobs was a member of the house ways and means committee where he fought to balance the federal budget and simplify the tax code. he also fought in the memorable words of journalist coleman mccarthy, to oppose wars that he believed couldn't be won, explained or afforded. jacobs is survived by countless admirers, a beloved wife of 25 years, two sons and two sisters. may each of us honor this
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fallen marine's memory and his constancey of purpose by picking up his rifle and doing our part to fight for a better america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlelady from california, ms. lee, for five minutes. ms. lee: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to continue with our 54th speech marking the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty. now, yesterday we were jond by president lyndon baynes johnson and lady bird johnson's daughter to mark the 50th anniversary of her father's state of the union speech in which he declared an unconditional war on poverty. she reminded us that this was a bipartisan and bicameral effort led by the white house. now, i have shared my own story reluctantly in the past. there was a time in my life
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when i depended on our vital social safety net programs during some very difficult times. but my testimony is only one of millions other americans. many of you may be familiar with the campaign to cut poverty in half in 10 years, a project of the center for american progress, the coalition on human needs and the leadership conference on civil and human rights. now, they are doing phenomenal work, gathering american stories of those who are living in poverty and have been lifted out of poverty, including our own congressman camp's constituent, amy's story. amy is here today and i look forward to hearing congressman pocan's story later on this house floor. her story is a true representation of the war on poverty and the promise of the american dream fulfilled. her story is like one of my
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constituents in oakland who visited my office last month. after becoming a single mother, jennifer was forced to stop attending her college courses and take a job making minimum wage as a caregiver. she relied on cal w.i.c. and food stamps to feed her daughters and her family and friends supported her with her housing and other basic needs. today, two of her daughters are graduates of the head start program, which prepared them to start elementary school where they are currently doing very well. and jennifer was able to finish school and is now working to advocate on behalf of other families like hers who had to turn to the american people in her time of need. also, i'm reminded that one of my former district directors was a graduate of the head start program. he is doing phenomenal work, raising a family and living the american dream. these are stories of resilience. they're the stories of middle
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of americans who are facing homelessness, hunger and unemployment if it weren't for a safety net. in my home state of california, 6.3 million people, 17% lived in poverty in 2012. and in my district in oakland, california, 18% of the residents was below the federal poverty level, including one in four children. while the richest segments of our population continue to prosper nationally, income inequality attracts millions of the working poor in poverty. many low-wage workers must rely on food stamps and medicaid just to survive, which our colleague, congressman al green, just brilliantly laid out. just to survive while c.e.o.'s are making megabillions with government subsidies. and as a recent study by the national poverty center at the university of michigan showed,
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any given month 1.7 million households live on a cash income of less than $2 per day. now, that's comparable to many living in the developing world. yes, $2, i said $2 per day. now, that's here in america, e richest nation on this earth. and an economy that despite recent gains, three unemployed for every one job opening is really a shame and disgrace that 1.3 million people lost their lifeline as republicans continue to refuse to extend the emergency unemployment compensation. now, these individuals, their checks should arrive or should have arrived this week. unfortunately they are did not. what in the world are people going to do now? this is heartless, it's
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mean-spirited and, of course, to add insult to injury, many of these people lost about $35 in food stamp benefits last november. yes, the economy has gotten better for some but has left millions behind. 50 years ago, the safety net was put in place just for times such as these. that's why it's so important to share stories like jennifer's and like amy's. vital social safety net programs are still needed. we need to stop this war on the poor. we should have a cease-fire on the war on the poor. we have a moral and we have an conomic obligation to make investments and economic opportunity and jobs. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlelady from ohio, ms. kaptur, for five minutes. thank you.
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mr. speaker, last week marked the 20th anniversary of nafta going into effect. that is the north american free trade agreement. it was a hard-fought fight here in this congress, and a very close vote in 1994 when. when it narrowly passed under a rule not allowing amendment called fast track, america was promised nafta would be a great jobs boom for our country and our economy. exactly the reverse has happened. the nafta promises made have all been broken. first on jans. the administration at the time promised that nafta would create 200,000 new jobs. in reality america has now lost, after 20 years, about one million jobs related to nafta's
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impact, and the old sucking sound actually happened. the jobs were offshored, sucked away. more than 680,000 american jobs have gone to mexico alone. yes, that great sucking sound continues to happen. about 60% of the jobs lost, the million jobs lost overall were lost to mexico in the manufacturing sector. these were middle-class jobs that came from maces like cleveland and toe -- places like cleveland and toledo and chicago and buffalo and the list goes on. they were good-paying jobs in our country that had provided living wages and medical benefits and employer contributions to retirement programs. america was also promised that nafta would fuel dynamic trade
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and tearing down trade barriers and creating trade surpluses for our country, which means we actually would export more than we imported. well, guess what, the trade barriers that nafta were supposed to tear down have actually created massive trade deficits, red ink for our country. if one looks back at the passage of nafta, prior to its passage, america actually had a trade surplus with mexico. then with nasty i's passage, we begin -- nafta's passage, we begin to start going in the hole with jobs being offshored and with other trade agreements with china, free trade with china which isn't free, we see that america's trade deficits have accumulated annually to historical levels never experienced by this society before. the cost of this has been huge. since nafta took effect, the
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annual u.s. trade deficit has 500% sed by five times, increase from $98 billion in the red to $534 billion in the red. each $1 billion of trade deficit accounts for anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 lost jobs, depending if it's in the retail sector or the industrial sector. our cumulative trade deficit over the 20 years with nafta -- get ready for this -- is $1.5 trillion. if you want to understand why america has a budget deficit at the federal level, it's because we have offshored so many jobs through these trade agreements that were passed under the fast track procedure. the year before nafta took effect, america actually had a $1.6 billion trade surplus with mexico, but every year after nafta took effect in 1995, that
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trade surplus with mexico was turned into a $15.8 billion trade deficit in the first year. and every single year it's simply gotten worse. by 2012, our trade deficit with xico ballooned annually to $61.6 billion. so every year the hole got deeper. what a failure nafta is on the jobs front and on the trade front. finally, supporters of nafta claimed that nafta would open markets for american exports to mexico. i'll tell you one thing ohio saw. ohio saw port production that used to happen in ohio platform down near mexico city where environmental regulations, if they exist at all, are certainly not enforced. and we look at companies like mr. coffee. we look at suppliers in the
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automotive industry being relocated from our country, middle-class jobs that just vaporized. one factory, one farm at a time. it's as though the lights are shut out from coast to coast in neighborhood after neighborhood. mr. speaker, the legislation that i've introduced, h.r. 191, the nafta accountability act, would basically say that these trade agreements have to work in our interest, including nafta, and where they are not, adjustments must occur in order to stem the offshoring and begin re-creating middle-class jobs in our country again. mr. speaker, i yield back my remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington, mr. heck, for five minutes. thank you, mr. speaker. 50 years ago this week in this very chamber, president lyndon johnson declared an unconditional war on poverty. the mission the president
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outlined was grand, but his goal for each and every american was modest. help them, and i quote, fulfill their basic hopes. their hopes for a fair chance to make good. their hopes for fair play under the law. their hopes for a full-time job with full-time pay. their hopes for a decent home for their family and a decent community. and their hopes for a good school for their children with good children. and their hopes for security when faced with sickness or unemployment or old age. 50 years later, the results speak for themselves. the number of children living in poverty has dropped by 10%. the number of seepors has plum thed by 32%. tens of millions of americans have health insurance because of medicare and medicaid. the percentage of adults completing high school has
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skyrocketed from 56% to 88%. and the share of women in the work force has increased from 42% to 64%. and each and every single day millions of school children go to school with full stomachs because of food nutrition assistance. we have much as a nation to be proud of. the best way, the very best way we can celebrate and honor that progress is to rededicate ourselves to the challenges remaining because the truth of the matter is there are still too many americans out of work and there are still too many americans working in jobs that don't pay enough to raise a family. and there are still too many americans working harder for less. now, i don't pretend there are easy solutions to these problems. there is no cure all. there is no silver bullet can fire, but we simply cannot stand
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down. and we cannot, as president johnson warned, forfeiter and fumble away our opportunity, and needless and senseless quarles between democrats and republicans. sound familiar? so, mr. speaker, on this 50th anniversary of the start of the war on poverty, it comes down to one simple question we should have the courage to ask ourselves. are we doing everything we reasonably can to strengthen the middle class and help those working to get into it? let me repeat that. are we doing everything we reasonably can to strengthen the middle class and help those working to get into it? and i think we should also have the courage to answer that question honestly. and i think we all know the answer, it is no.
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but we also all know that we can . that is the question of our time. the question of the day is whether or not we are going to help in this way by extending unemployment compensation benefits. the business case for this is exceedingly strong. the fact of the matter is that there are three people looking for work for every job available. the fact of the matter is that long-term unemployment is nearly twice as high as it was at each of the times that we ended emergency unemployment benation over the last couple of decades. the business case for this is very strong for those 1.3 million people already affected and the 2.6 million or so or more that will be affected in this calendar year. the business case is very strong. there are those, of course, who will suggest that there are those who abuse unemployment compensation. i'm not going to quibble about that, but i am going to reject
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the principle that americans don't want to work, don't need to work, and that we are not hard wired to work. and i can prove it to you. i can absolutely prove it to you. stop right now and ask yourself, what is the first thing you ask someone when you meet them? what do you do? we define ourselves by our work. it gives us pride. it helps us support our family. it makes our neighborhoods and communities stronger. americans want to work. ought they cannot, we to be there to help them. we can. and we should. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my ime. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. swalwell for 3 1/2 minutes. mr. swalwell: 50 years ago, president johnson declared in
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this chamber the war on poverty. and this is one war that we must continue to wage. i want to thank my neighbor in alameda county who represents oakland and alameda and berkeley, congresswoman barbara lee, who is congress' greatest champion today to continue fighting president johnson's war on poverty. i'm grateful to have a mentor in congresswoman lee who has guided and helped me as i worked to do my part. since president johnson's declaration, we have made real progress. using an accurate measurement of who is poor in america shows hat we cut the rate from 25.8% 2012. to 16% in reducing by millions the number of americans who are poor. unfortunately, this war is not yet won. almost 50 million americans still live in poverty, including over 13 million children.
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in such an abundant society as ours, there is only one word to describe these stark facts. unconscionable, and we can do better. this congress should make it a priority to help the poor, the economically downtrodden, and jobless. their path to economic opportunity still remains dim. but this congress, the people in this house, can be their light. if we are going to win the war on poverty, there are many battles today that we must win. first, we should start by extending unemployment insurance now and not putting 1.3 million americans out in the cold. second, we need to raise our minimum wage so those working hard and trying to earn a living can actually do so. third, we must fight harsh cuts to snap and head start to make sure everyone has equal
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opportunity. these are just a few of the small battles that we must win right now in the larger war on poverty. this is no time to turn back or to retreat. this is a time for a surge in our war against poverty. millions of americans, including children, are counting on us. we must ask ourselves a few questions, has this war been won? has poverty been eradicated across america? and is our middle class built out? if the answer to any of these questions is no, then we know what we must continue to do. we must fight on. and we must keep fighting until we win the war on poverty. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule
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>> we take you live now to trenton, new jersey, for a news conference with governor chris christie which got under way a few minutes ago. >> so let's be fair. there have been times when there have been investigations around here that have led to nothing and have had no basis, but i was wrong. now having been proven wrong, of course we'll work cooperatively with the investigation. and i'm going through an examination as i mentioned to you right now. that's what i'm doing. i'm going through an examination and talking to the individual people who work for me, not only to discover if there's any other
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information we need to find, but also to ask them how did this happen? how did this occur to us? i think -- listen, i said before, i had a tight knit group of people who i trust implicitly. i had no reason to believe they weren't telling me the truth. it is heartbreaking to me that i wasn't told the truth. i'm a very loyal guy. and i expect loyalty in return. and lying to me is not an exhibition of loyalty. so i'm going to look into this personally. this is my responsibility, david. what steps we'll take after that, if there are concrete steps beyond what i have done today, then we'll certainly announce them and talk about them. if not, thenility' just say, i think we have gotten to the bottom of this and we'll move forward with the new team. i have a new team coming in as
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well who i'm trying to integrate now also in the next two weeks. there will be a lot of action oing on around here. [inaudible] > no, i'm not. listen, kelly, everybody in the country who engages in politics knows that. on the other hand, that's very, very different than saying that someone's bullying. i have very heated discussions and arguments with people in my own party and own the other side of the aisle. i feel passionately about issues. i don't hide my emotions from people. i am not a focus group tested, blow dried candidate or governor. now, that has always made some people, as you know, uneasy. some people like that style,
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some people don't. and i have always said, i think you asked me a question after the election, are you willing to change your style in order to appeal to a broader audience? i think i said no. because i am who i am. but i am not a bully. what i will tell you is that the folks who have worked with me over a long period of time would, i believe, tell you that i'm tough. but as shown over the last four years and the tone we have set here that i'm willing to compromise. that i'm willing to work with others. and the campaign showed with all of the folks who came from the other side of the aisle to support us, if we weren't willing to have relationships with those folks, i would have -- i don't believe that, kelly, and i don't believe the body of work in the last four years displayed that. now, in this instance the language used and the conduct displayed in those emails is unacceptable to me. and i will not tolerate it.
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but the best can i do is when i see stuff like that to end it. and i know that won't satisfy everybody, but i'm not in the business of satisfying everybody. i'm in the business of trying to satisfy the people who elected me governor. michael. >> governor, you stated you're going to individually interview all the members of the -- >> senior staff. >> what about the campaign? are you going to personally terview -- >> there was no one above bill in the campaign. he was the campaign manager. there was no one above. their role in the campaign was not the day-to-day operation in the campaign. bill was the chairman of the campaign and he was essentially involved in fundraising. that was bill's main task. mike was the general consultant. he dealt with tv ads.
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the day-to-day operation of the campaign -- i have spoken to both of them. they were two of my discussions yesterday. angie. angie. guys, we don't work that way. > how confident are you that this tactic will not go beyond this? >> listen, i'm not going -- i'm smart enough now after this experience not to go out there and certify that unequivocally. ok. i don't have any evidence before me as we speak that it went beyond this incident. but i can't tell you that i know that for sure as to every aspect of everything. now, i have to be much more circumspect about that. prior to yesterday i believed that if i looked someone in the eye who i worked with and trusted and asked them that i would get an honest answer. maybe that was naive.
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that's what i believed. now i'm going in and digging in and asking more questions. can i make a warranty on that? i don't believe sow. but i can't make a warranty on that and i won't because when i did that four weeks ago i wound up being wrong. >> did you not authorize -- >> absolutely not. no. and i knew nothing about this. until it started to be reported in the papers about the closure. even then i was told this was a traffic site. senator brodie testified it was a traffic site. there still may have been a traffic study that now has political overtones to it as well. i don't know the answer to that, angie. we are going to find out. but i don't know because senator brodie presented all types of information that day to the legislature, statistics and maps and otherwise, that seemed evidence a traffic study. why would i believe that anybody would not be telling the truth about that? i think i said that at the time.
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not finished yet, guys. but the fact is that regardless of all that, it's clear now that in the minds of some people there were political overtones or political side fields on this. and that's unacceptable. so whether there was a traffic study or not, don't know. it appeared there was one based on what i saw in the testimony, but regardless of whether there was or wasn't there clearly also political overtones that were evident in that -- in those emails and other messages that were never, ever brought to my attention until yesterday. >> do you understand why people ould have a hard time -- it is your management style. > listen, i am -- there's this
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repetition out there me being a micromanager. i'm not. i think if you talk to my staff what i tell you is i delegate enormous authority to my staff. and enormous authority to my cabinet. and i tell them, come to me with the policy decisions that need to be made, with some high level personnel decision that is need to be made, but i do not manage in that kind of micro way first. second, there is no way that anybody would think that i know about everything that's going on not only in every agency of government at all times, but also every independent authority that new jersey has done its own or by state with new york, pennsylvania, and delaware. so what i can tell you is people find that hard to believe, i don't know what else to say except to tell them that i had no knowledge of this. the planning, execution, or anything about it. then i first found out about it after it was over.
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and even then what i was told was that it was a traffic study. and there was no evidence to the contrary until yesterday. that was brought to my attention or anybody else's attention. i understand why people would ask that question and i understand your question completely. but what i also want to tell the people is that even with all that being said, it's still my responsibility. i didn't know about it, but it's my responsibility because i'm the governor. so i'm faking that responsibility and taking actions appropriate with executing the responsibility in accord with what the information is today. arcia? inaudible] >> as i have said many times, when i was u.s. attorney i hated when politicians stood behind a
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podium and said, this is what the u.s. attorney should or shouldn't do and i'm not going to engage in that conduct. >> are you asking your staff are --re any other cases >> listen, again. let me say this. clearly that's the tone of those emails, but the thing that -- the other part that shocks me is, as i have said to you-all many times before, the mayor was never on my radar screen. he was never mentioned to me as somebody whose endorsement we were pursuing. i think he said on cnn he doesn't recall being asked for his endorsement. so part of this is i never saw this as political retribution because i didn't think he did anything to us. now, we pursued lots of endorsements during the campaign from democrats, and we didn't
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receive most of them. we received about 60 at the end of the day. we pursued hundreds. so i never -- i don't have any recollection of at any time anybody in the campaign ever asking me to meet with mayor socolich or call him which was the typical course that was used when we were attempting to get endorsement that staff would work with the elected official first and then when they thought , using the vernacular, the ball was on the tee, they would call me in to make a phone call or have a meeting or breck it's an i would meet with the elected official and see if i could bring it over the line. i don't remember ever meeting the mayor, certainly never did in that context. i'm sure i met him at some point at an event, but i have to tell you, until i saw his picture last night on television, i wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup. so part of this is the reason that the retribution idea never
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came into my head is because i never even knew that we were pursuing his endorsement. and no one ever came to me to get me to try to pursue the endorsement in any way. i never saw it as a serious effort. a new that you know it did happen -- >> of course, of course. ohn, john. >> with the birthday party, mine? [inaudible] >> yeah. few were there. obviously i said earlier john, i'm heartbroken about it. and i'm incredibly disappointed.
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i don't think i have gotten to the angry stage yet, but i'm sure i'll get there. i'm just stunned. and what it makes me ask about me? it makes me ask about me what to have these folks think it was ok to lie to me? and there's a lot of soul-searching that goes around with this. when you're a leader of an organization, and i have had this happen to me before where i have had folks not tell me the truth about something, not since i have been governor, but in previous leadership positions, you always wonder about what you could do differently. believe me, john, i haven't had a lot of sleep the last two nights, and i have been doing a lot of soul-searching. i'm sick over this. i have worked for the last 12
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years in public life developing a reputation for honesty and directness and blunt talk. one that i think is well deserved. but when something like this happens, it's appropriate for you to question yourself. and certainly i am. and i am soul-searching on this. but what i also want the people of new jersey to know is that this is the exception not the rule. and they have seen that over the last four years with the way i have worked and what i have done. i don't want to fall into the trap of saying, well, this one incident happened therefore the one incident defines the whole. it does not. just like one employee who's lied doesn't determine the character of all the other employees around you. so i don't want to overreact to that in that way either, john. if you're asking me over the last 48 hours or last 36 hours i have done some soul-searching, you bet i have. ryan. >> the mayor is vote quothed as
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-- ng the day >> all i know is i don't know ryan, is the first answer. what i'll also say is, the mayor has disagreements with lots of people, me, senate president, and others. there's going to be back and forth. there's going to be meetings canceled. there's going to be public disagreements. but the fact of the matter is we have continued to work with jersey city over the course of time since he's been mayor. in the last year i think we have approved about $190 million in e.p.a. financing for projects in jersey city. the d.e.p., deputy commissioner was just meeting yesterday with
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mayor philip and his staff on issues to try to buy properties affected by sandy. we continue to work with him. i don't know about specific meetings or what's going on, but certainly i will look into all of those things. but the fact is that what mayor philip knows is what we agree with him from a policy perspective, we'll work with him. when we disagree we'll express those. sometimes that will mean friction. he's suing the port authority at the moment. there's lots of back and forth and to and fro that happens. i look into all this stuff. in the end have i at times been angry at the mayor for disagreement, you met i have? i also spoke at his swearing-in at his invitation. political relationships in this state go up and down as you know, brian. sometimes strange bedfellows. sometimes expected ones. and they move. i'm sure there's been movement in those relationships over time. not anything that i could
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explain as to the specific question. -- heard that you tilely that you actually learned something new. the universal apolicy gi in the state of new jersey include the press corps? >> sure. most of you, i hope, are citizens of new jersey. so you -- >> there are exceptions. >> i know. we don't need to point it out. of course it does because the fact is i came out here and said something that was untrue. unwittingly but i said something was untrue. i think what you-all have seen about me over the last four years in my dealings with you is i deal with you directly. and i say exactly what i think. and i think over time i have developed a reputation for telling you-all the truth, as i see it. there could be disagreements. but the truth as i see it. so, yes, would i include the press corps? of course i would, because most
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if not -- many if not most of you are residents of the state and you rely upon this state government to be honest and trustworthy as well. and in this instance my government fell short and i take responsibility for that and that's why i'm apologizing. >> i was wondering what your staff said to you about why they lied to you. why would they do that? what was their explanation? >> i have not had any conversation with bridget since the email came out. she was not given the opportunity to explain to me why she lied because it was so obvious she had. i'm quite frankly not interested in the explanation at the moment. i'm not done yet. second part of the question. i think general sampson put out a statement yesterday that had he no knowledge of this. i interviewed him yesterday, he was one of my interviews. i'm convinced he has absolutely no knowledge of this. this was executed at the
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operational level and never brought to the attention of the board of commissioners until hairman foy -- executive director foy wrote his teams. we sat and met for two hoursied with general sampson. again i'm confident that he had no knowledge of this based upon our conversations. and his review of his information. i think as he said yesterday he's angered by this and upset about it, and i know that he's going to lead -- cooperate with the o.i.g. investigation that's ongoing and lead a discussion at the port authority about what could be done in the future to stop such conduct. >> you mentioned earlier that the question you were asking a reflection what did i do wrong? are you also asking the question, what did i say or how a way onduct myself in
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that would let these folks think it was ok to carry out such a cheme like this? >> charlie, i haven't because i know who i am. i'm not that person. it's easy for people to be characterized in public life based upon their personality. and i have a very direct, blunt personality. i understand why some people would characterize that, especially people who don't like you, as bullying, but it's not that. i know that about myself and know i haven't -- no i haven't asked that quefment i'm more focused on why the truth wasn't told to me. melissa. >> are you going to also apologize -- >> i just did. i just did.
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i said i'm sorry for that and i would have never made that joke if i knew the facts that have come forward to me today. i thought it was absurd and thought we had nothing to do with it. that's why. obviously the email evidence is callus indifference to the result of -- callous inch continues to the result of that, and that's what i have apologized for. i do apologize for it. i certainly intend to apologize to the mayor today. i'm going to try to get a meeting with him this afternoon. inaudible] >> i read that. i didn't read that that way. at all.
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and that was a reference to a traffic study that candidly i knew nothing about. i recognize that the email said something about the gov supported it or endorsed it. i don't know anything about it i have to believe that was like the governor's office generically, that reference. as i stand here today i don't know anything about a traffic tudy in springfield. absolutely not. no. no. no, that's not the way it operates. we build relationships over four years with folks trying to be helpful to every town we could be helpful with appropriately. no, nothing like that was done. >> i'm wondering if your soul-searching about the kind of people who run the campaign or the kind of people you want to run the republican party who are
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willing to engage in political rhett at this bution and also call the mayor a rationally insensitive man. >> it was a mistake. soul-searching is complete on that part of it. it was a mistake. it was a mistake. the fact is that mistakes were made and i'm responsible for those mistakes. and i obviously tried every chance i can to hire the very best people. i think the history of this administration shows that we have hired outstanding people with great ethical standards who have done their jobs extraordinaryly -- extraordinarily well. in a got of 65,000 people there will be times when mistakes are made. mistakes were made and i have remediated those mistakes by the actions i have taken. i am in a constant state of trying to figure out who are the
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best people for individual jobs. who will make me proud to put them there. that's always been going on. that's nothing new 2340u. there are times when people you put those decisions make mistakes, they disappoint you, you lose your confidence in them or they lie to you. when you find that out, the test of leadership is what do you do? i found this out at 8:50 yesterday morning. by 9:00 this morning bridget was fired. by 7:00 yesterday evening bill was asked to leave my organization. that's pretty swift action for a day's work. that's exactly the way i'll continue to conduct myself. if there's any other information surrounding this that comes up or anything different that comes up over the course of the next our years.
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inaudible] >> i can differentiate, phil, between people who have served me well and they haven't. of course there's always going to be some -- after something like this where you have been lied to, there's going to be some crisis in confidence. there always will be. anybody who tells you differently is not telling you the truth. they say to you this happened to you and you're not going to second-guess yourself at all, then you're just stupid. of course i second-guessed myself and gone throw my head on some of this stuff. and in the future i'll try to be even more careful. but here's what i know about human beings, phil. i have hired a lot of them in my time. as u.s. attorney, as governor, and as a hiring attorney in private practice law firm.
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sometimes despite the best background checks, despite the best interviews, despite your best instincts, sometimes people are higher. sometimes they start office as a good hire and because of circumstance that is happen in their life they change. you can't prevent everything. but the test of leadership is when you find it out, what do you do? and i'm saddened to have to do this. it's difficult personally to do. but it's my job and i have taken an oath and i'm going to execute my job. josh. inaudible] > i'm sorry. inaudible]
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>> a few things. first off to my knowledge, and i think the mayor said this last night, i have no knowledge of him being asked for an endorsement. he may have been, but he certainly was never asked by me. but he, i think, said last night on television he doesn't recall being asked for an endorsement. that's why this made no sense to me, josh, because why would you execute a vendetta against somebody who you didn't even give a chance to say no to. put aside the fact you shouldn't do that at all. then if you never asked for an endorsement, why are you mad he didn't give one? none made any sense to me. that's the first point. >> you still don't know what prompted -- >> i don't.
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again i don't know whether this was a traffic study that then mored of into a political vendetta or a political vendetta that morphed into a traffic study. i have seen statistics and other things about the traffic study. i know there's information there. i don't know what it is. we'll find out over time, maybe. but that's really in the minds of the people who are doing it. and that's what i based my decisions on at the time was the testimony that people gave. know listen, i don't exactly what you're referencing, but i think you're talking about he foy memo that was leaked? the seems that in emails traffic issue arose, complaints were made, a story appeared in
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one of the newspapers, complaints were then lodged internal. some people were taking inappropriate action toward the new york side -- >> yeah. i asked general sampson about this. said, yes. something to that effect. i don't remember who it was. i asked general sampson about that yesterday. he said he has absolutely no idea what they are referring to. the only communication that he had at that time was his concern that he expressed to fellow commissioners about internal port authority documents being leaked. and that's just not appropriate for folks to be leaking internal documents. but he has no recollection from what he told me yesterday of any conversation like that with wild's team or ba roany at all that references the gist of what you said in the email. certainly not that i'm aware of
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or not out of the normal. let's remember something, too. this is a bistate agency with significant tension. all the time. now, there's no tension between governor cuomo and i. we get along quite well. when issues rise to our level we have always been able to resolve them. but there is tension. always has been between new york and new jersey on the allocation of resources at the port authority. so let me be clear, there's some battles over there that go on that have happened in every administration over the course f my memory, but you can't connect that -- that's kind of the ongoing nature of the tension of that agency. and i think of most bistate agencies, though i think the port authority of new york and new jersey because the resources are greater and demands are greater, it's even more. nothing that i know of that's specific. i don't want to make clear to people that this is -- there is tension that goes on between the
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employees of these agencies. not every one of those issues of tensions, thank goodness, are raised to my level and governor cuomo's level. the good news for people of new york and new jersey is that when those issues have been raised in the last three years, to my level, governor cuomo's level, we have always, between the two of us, amicably resolved it and moved on. sometimes that's the roles governors have to play in that gency. >> question your own judgment about whether or not you could -- are you concerned putting out a series of cones to change a couple lanes of traffic? >> let me answer that then i'll let you follow up. i don't know what makes a legitimate traffic study. not my area of expertise.
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so i wouldn't have a nose for that. just wouldn't. i don't know what makes a legitimate traffic study. i have been told that sometimes they are done live. sometimes they are done by computer model. i have heard that in the professionals who testify for the port authority. you'd have to go to them to ask them what a legitimate traffic study is. i probably wouldn't know a traffic study if i tripped over t. >> you said that sometimes raises to the level of governors. [inaudible] >> not true. i have denied that story before. that's an old story. and governor cuomo has denied it as well. ot true. i have no idea, but clearly there's a difference of opinion
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between senator barone and pat foy about the existence of a traffic study. and there seems to me to be evidence that senator barone showed of statistics and maps and other things about traffic studies. this could go back to the nuance of what constitutes a traffic study or not. they may be arguing about some specifics and nuance that i'm not familiar with. but i certainly would not accuse . t foy of perjuring himself i'm telling you what i was told and what we saw before the legislature. i certainly wouldn't accuse pat foy of perjuring himself. >> you think he's genuine and not -- >> guess what? after reading everything yesterday i don't know. but what i'm telling you is that that's what i have been told. he seemed to display evidence for that at the time. that's now because of the tone and tenor of these emails and text messages, that's now all
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this stuff is something that i'm not going to warranty because i don't know given some of this back and forth. senator barone is a very respecialed guy. he served in this building for a long time. i have known him for a long time. when he made his testimony, i would have no reason to believe that he wasn't telling the truth. but obviously from reading these emails yesterday there was other stuff going on that i hadn't been informed about. i never called him personally, no. but barone's position continues to be there was a traffic study. and he has a disagreement with pat foy about that. they had a disagreement, that was clear. pat foy had already expressed those concerns in earlier written documents that he -- someone had put out to the press. matt? inaudible]
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>> hi no conversation with bell. -- i had no conversation with bill. listen, i had earlier conversations with bill where, as i expressed to you at the time, that bill told me he knew absolutely nothing about this. so and certainly the emails yesterday, emails are well after the fact, so -- but that's not the basis upon which i made my decision on bill. my decision on bill was made based on the fact of the tone, tenor, and conduct evidenced in those emails. i lost confidence in his judgment. that's why i made the decision i made as to bill. brian? >> it's no secret that many republicans inaudible]
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>> i have no idea what it would look like at this point. as i have said many times before. i know that everybody in the political media and in the political chattering class wants to start the 2016 race. and universities can't help themselves but do polls that are meaningless three years away from an election. you guys can't help but put them on the air and talk about them. my job is to be governor of new jersey. i'll say what i have said before. i am enormously flattered that folks would talk about me in my party as someone who they think could be a candidate for president. but i am absolutely nowhere near beginning that consideration process. i haven't even been sworn in for my second term yet. i've got work to do here. that's my focus. my focus is on the people of new
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jersey and the job they gave mee. all those considerations are the kind of hysteria that goes around this because everybody's in that world gets preoccupied with that job. i am not preoccupied with that job. i'm preoccupied with this one. as you can tell, i got plenty to do. it's not like i got some spare time to spend. because you rolled your eyes and looking very disgruntled i hadn't called on you. i have known brian longer than you. >> new jersey governor chris christie responding to reporter's questions on the apparent political motivations behind the closing of lanes from new jersey into new york city on the new york washington bridge, announcing two of his aides lose their jobs. we are leaving here on c-span. a reminder you can continue to follow it online at we'll also have it for you later on our program schedule. the u.s. house is gaveling in. we take you there live.